Earlier this month, an unbelievable crime took place in Oxford, Miss.
Not unbelievable like the Texas man who devoured his own dog while high on drugs, or the Nevada teens who drowned two kittens in a cup of water – instead, unbelievable because of the type of crime which caused one good Samaritan to receive a warrant for her arrest and facing possible felony theft charges.
That woman, Stephanie Mitchell, director of Drifter’s Place Animal Rescue, found a dog, who appeared to be lost, and tried to help locate the dog’s owner.
According to WMCTV News, the dog did not have any identification tags, so Mitchell took the dog home for safe keeping and spent the better portion of the following day searching for the owner.
Mitchell visited area veterinarians, posted fliers and stopped in at gas stations – eventually, she posted a photo of the dog on Facebook with the hopes that someone might recognize him.
Not long after posting that Facebook photo, someone came forward who recognized the dog and soon, Mitchell was speaking to the dog’s owners.
But instead of a thank-you and a pat on the back for finding and keeping the wandering dog safe, Mitchell was berated for her efforts.
In fact, the owners accused her of stealing their dog.
Adding insult to injury, the police were soon involved and there was a warrant for Mitchell’s arrest.
According to a governing law in the county, dogs can wander (there are no leash laws), but people cannot help. The mind-boggling result is that kind-hearted individuals who take the time to lend a hand can wind up in jail and facing criminal charges.
Right now, Mitchell is still fighting the seemingly bogus theft charge which she received when she attempted to help.
Why it is okay for dog owners to allow their pets to wander is a mystery.
Why someone, who may have saved a wandering dog from being struck and killed on a roadway, is now facing criminal charges for their efforts, is an even bigger mystery.
Advocates for Stephanie Mitchell have requested that respectful correspondence be sent to the prosecuting attorney asking for the charges in this case to be dropped.
Bela J. Chain, Prosecuting Attorney, Department: Justice Court
Address: P.O. Box 913 Oxford, MS 38655
Tel: 662-234-1667, Fax: 662-236-3021
Watch video link here.
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